Melissa Baker Linville
Name of Host Organization: The Legal Aid Society of Columbus
City, State: Columbus, Ohio
Issue area: Consumer Rights
Sponsors: Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation
Melissa provided direct representation to low-income clients filing for bankruptcy and expanded capacity by growing a robust bankruptcy pro bono program.
Need Addressed By Project
Recession and slow economic growth over the past several years have sparked an increased need among low-income individuals and families for legal assistance with financial issues. Bankruptcy can provide much-needed relief to people who spiral into debt because of unemployment, medical catastrophes, or other unexpected circumstances. Requests for legal aid continue to outpace available resources in the aftermath of significant staff reductions at The Legal Aid Society of Columbus (LASC) and other legal services providers. Growing a network of pro bono and low bono attorneys will enable more low-income people to save their homes, stop wage garnishments, and achieve financial stability.